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Tracking Instructor-Led Classes in an LMS July 19, 2008

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This week’s post starts with a simple question: At your organization, when you hold an instructor-led class, how do you give learners credit for attending the class in your LMS?

I’ve seen organizations do this several ways, but I’ve never been a huge fan of how it gets done; it has always seemed like a workaround more than anything else. I’m going to list out a few of the ways I’ve seen. Please chime in if you know of other ways…

  • Use a sign-in sheet
    Learners sign-in when arriving at the class, and then some poor soul has to go into the LMS after the class and manually give everybody credit for attending the class.
  • Use a quiz
    Learners must complete an online quiz in the LMS after the class takes place. If the learner passes the quiz, they get credit for the course.
  • Use a Level 1 Evaluation
    Learners must complete a Level 1 Evaluation (smile sheet) – online or on paper – and then somebody manually gives them credit for attending the class in the LMS.
  • Use a badge reader
    An ideal scenario: At organizations where employees must carry an ID badge, ask employees to scan their badges as soon as they show up for the class. The badge reader would then communicate with the LMS to give them credit for attending the class. I’ve been exploring this option lately. It may sound crazy, but it is very possible. Get in touch with me if you’re interested in learning more. 🙂

What did I miss? Are there any other ways to give learners credit for attending instructor-led classes in an LMS?



1. Jeff - July 20, 2008

My LMS is a homegrown website, essentially, and the ILT training-tracking came long before I dove into the world of e-learning. I’ve simplified the process over the years, but it basically comes down to this: I list a class on the website. The students (who need to have registered accounts on the website, typical of nearly any website these days) register for the courses they want/need. When I finish teaching a class, I check off the students who passed the class and click a submit button. From there, I have basic reports that I can pull up in real-time to show who has completed any given class.

Surely, I can’t be the only one out there doing this.

2. Kevin Janzer - July 20, 2008

BJ, if you expand the concept of ILT to virtual ILT, we can look additional methods for tracking attendance. Many virtual classroom tools automatically track attendance based on the student “accessing” the scheduled training event. Though I must admit there is an issue if you have multiple students sharing one computer and accessing the class. To handle the “shared” resource scenario, we either ask a representative from the group submit the names of all in attendance or rely on a quiz.

Returning back to the traditional in-person ILT, another “ideal” concept is to setup a kiosk, where the student mark their attendance and the information is based back to the LMS. This could work for any company that does not badges or requires facility specific badges.

3. Elizabeth - July 21, 2008


Not sure if this is up to par with current technology, but back in the day we used Audience Response Systems to track attendance (i.e. clicker remotes). I do believe the system had the ability to link some form of information to an LMS, but my memory of that is a little foggy.

Perhaps a future adaptation would allow audience polling/tracking via cell phones & text messages or even via QR code(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code) with applications that link directly to an LMS. The wave of the future is here!

4. Gary Hegenbart - July 21, 2008

I like the badge scanning idea, but we do customer training so students don’t have badges (too bad, I’d love to work on that project). I’ve thought of doing something similar to Kevin’s kiosk idea, but maybe having the instructor check off the names. Most of our classes start with introductions, so as students introduce themselves, the instructor could just check a box on the electronic roster. We do get drop ins, so the there could be an online form for adding people that aren’t on the roster. Our classes are small, so the admin overhead for instructors is pretty low.

5. Tracy - July 21, 2008

I’m liking 2 ideas posted here. One where the student checks themself in using a kiosk and the other is the badge reader. We definately have badges and that would capture the majority of our training sessions. The few that don’t could be manually added into the system. The kiosk idea is great as well, it’s just a matter of having a computer in each room for this function. We’re a strapped for cash hospital and upgrading our teaching technology components is not necessarily always at the top of the list.

6. Terie - July 23, 2008

It’s all about what’s important to your organization, and whether you have the tools to do it…
A. What’s important to your organization? How do you know that you’re doing a “good job?” Is it important to fill the room? Make sure people learned stuff? Make sure people had a good time? Make sure what you did was important to the participants? Had an impact on the company/business?

B. Do you have tools to count noses? Do you have tools to easily connect noses to HR records? Do you have tools to track what people learned? If you don’t, you’ll have workarounds…

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